American Farm Family: This Iowa family of Master Pork Producers share a deep-rooted passion for raising pigs
The Winters Family raises around 55,000 pigs each year at their operation in Sioux City, Iowa, and have been recognized across the industry and their state for their masterful dedication to producing quality pork.
In celebration of National Pork Month, we are delighted to introduce to this week’s American Farm Family, The Winters of Sioux Falls, Iowa! They are dedicated pork producers with a deep-rooted passion for raising pigs.
The Winters are a second-generation ween-to-finish operation that raises around 55,000 pigs annually at their Sioux City operation. They primarily supply to JBS but are also part of the pork farming collective, Wholestone Farms. The family also owns and manages barns.
Kurt is the younger generation of the Winters Family, now at the helm of their hog operation, following in the footsteps of his parents, Lloyd and Norma, who were recognized as Master Pork Producers by the Iowa Pork Producers Association along with their son in 2009.
“My mom and my dad are still part of the farm; they always have been,” said Kurt Winters. “It’s been one of the greatest privileges of my life, I would say, that I’ve gotten to work with my family my whole life. I’ve gotten to work with my dad the entire time I’ve been farming — he’s the one that got me into hog farming.
While his parents are still an integral part of the family business, Kurt has slowly taken over many of the business aspects of running their pig operation over the last 13 years. As his responsibilities have expanded, he says, it is bittersweet that he no longer gets as much time to work directly with the pigs as he once did. However, he makes a point to take in all the new pigs and check on them when he can.
“Generally, I take in all the pigs so I can see them coming in – is one of the jobs I like to make sure I do,” Winters said. “But I also get through them as much as I can to check general health and make sure everything’s going okay.”
In addition to more professional responsibilities, Kurt has also expanded his role at home, getting married and starting a family of his own. He met his wife right on the farm when she came to work for the family in college as an exchange student from Brazil. They now have three children together.
Winters is already gauging his kids’ interest in one day joining the family business, but he says — either way, he wants them to have an opportunity to follow their passions.
“I sure going to try and encourage them to be hog farmers, but if they don’t want to be then they’ve got to go do what they want to do,” he said. “I mean, as long as they’re happy, and if they can enjoy their job later in life as much as I’ve enjoyed mine then we’ve won.”